I recently had a rather heated discussion with a Project Manager who complained that their vendor(s) did not provide the support and training that they had promised. It turns out that this relatively small company has three chemical vendors, two equipment vendors and buys most of their other products online or at a big box store.

When I looked at the amount each vendor was getting (after the company squeezed them for every cent), I tried to explain that there simply was not enough money on the table with any one particular vendor to generate a lot of interest on their part. One of the vendors did provide weekend seminars that the company did not want to pay their staff to attend. Another vendor provides manufacturer support using videos and webinars but again the company did not see the benefit to paying workers to sit through these sessions.

The results that I observed were that everyone seemed to be “cleaning” in their own way using their own processes and chemicals. The local supervisors did not feel empowered to standardize since the chemicals and equipment changed on a regular basis based on who was the lowest bid that month or quarter. Due to lack of standardization, there was an inordinate amount of complaints and re-do work that consumed a lot of undocumented labor and benefits. Training to a specific product line could reduce or even eliminate that lost revenue. If this company would simply select one of the vendors and generate enough business to keep them engaged, they could have much better results for probably the same amount they are spending now.

"Pay me now or pay me later" comes to mind. Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.